Entries for the 2011 ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon, which will be take place through the streets of downtown Miami, Miami Beach and Coconut Grove on Jan. 30, are trending 18 percent higher than in 2010 and the race could top the 20,000-runner mark for the first time in its eight-year history.
More than 16,000 runners had registered with just under four weeks to go to race day. The deadline for entries is Jan. 21, but registration will resume on race weekend at the Nissan Health and Fitness Expo presented by The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, Jan. 28 and 29, at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
The increase in entries is due largely to the growth of the running community both locally and nationally that is attributed to people’s quest to live healthier as well as greater participation among females.
The Tropical 5K, a great family event conducted annually the morning before the marathon, also is experiencing an increase in entries over 2010, with more than 2,100 runners expected to run on Jan. 29. The race will start at Watson Island and end on South Beach.
“The 2011 ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon has earned its niche as a premier running event,” said ING Miami Marathon dace director David Scott. “Through validation by publications such as Runners World and USA Today, and also through word of mouth among runners throughout the country, people are sharing that this is a race that everybody has to run.
“You are coming to Miami. People want to visit our South Florida community. And this is one of the more scenic courses, if not the most scenic, in the country.”
The half-marathon distance continues to grow in popularity. About 75 percent of all entries in the 2011 ING Miami Marathon and Half-Marathon are for the half-marathon distance, which is very popular among women entrants because it is a more attainable distance than the marathon.
“Marathons and half marathons around the country are seeing a continual climb,” Scott said. “I also think that with so much attention given to health reform that a spinoff to that is that people are looking to be more active and healthier.”
Entries typically surge in the final days before the race due to the resolutions runners make around the New Year to complete their training and test themselves at the marathon or half-marathon distance. Corporations also are encouraging their employees to be more active and get in shape and are offering them incentives to do so.
“Running is good for people and frankly it makes them feel better,” Scott said. “Even in the tough economic times that we have been experiencing the past few years, the continued growth of the ING Miami Marathon is proof that running is important in people’s lives and has become a part of their lifestyle.”
For more information call 305-278-8668 or visit online at www.ingmiamimarathon.com.